The macula is an area at the back of your eye that you use for seeing colour and fine detail such as reading a book. Macular degeneration is a condition which affect the macula.
Also, commonly referred to as AMD (Age-related Macular Degeneration) as it is a condition which most commonly forms as you get older.
What are the symptoms of AMD?
You may notice that things appear blurry, or you may have difficulty reading, even with your normal reading glasses. You may also notice that you have a smudge in your central vision which does not go away or notice that straight lines appear distorted or wavy.
If you have AMD, you may notice your eyes becoming sensitive to bright light or notice that colours seem to fade. These symptoms are more noticeable if you look for them with each eye separately. This happens because if you have both eyes open, your better eye may compensate for the other one.
We recommend you regularly check your vision in each eye separately by looking at a book or magazine while covering each eye in turn. This will help you notice any changes in your vision early.
There are two types of macular degeneration:
– Dry AMD: Dry AMD usually develops slowly, and people may not notice any change for many years. Most people with dry AMD have near normal vision however it can for some individuals it can cause vision loss. Currently, there is no treatment for dry AMD.
However, there are some steps you can take that may help reduce the risk of the condition getting worse.
– Wet AMD: Wet AMD is much less common and develops when abnormal blood vessels grow into the retina and leak. Wet AMD can cause sudden and rapid loss of central vision. It is usually associated with you noticing distorted vision. This is where straight lines appear wavy, or you have a blank spot or smudge in the centre of your vision. Wet AMD will need to be referred to an eye specialist at the hospital.
Can I do anything to protect myself from getting AMD?
Smoking is a major risk factor for developing AMD, so if you smoke try to stop.
Some things that have been associated with AMD include:
- being overweight or obese
- having a diet that is high in fat
- having high blood pressure
You should try to maintain a healthy weight, eat a healthy diet, and keep your blood pressure under control.
Should you have any concerns with AMD or are experiencing any symptoms of AMD, you should contact us to book an appointment with our optometrist.